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It was a week that started off strong for the
Montreal Canadiens, but by the end, the team’s performance was uglier than a
3-month old fruitcake.  Meanwhile, the Bulldogs also struggled somewhat,
dropping 3 of 5 contests this week, which begs the question, why are they
playing 5 games in a week?  We’ll also take a look around the rinks, have a
closer look at Christopher Heino-Lindberg, plus a final thought on the
officiating situation in the final recap of 2006.


Previous week’s grades in parentheses.


Cristobal Huet:  B- 
Played well for the most part, but let in a pair of bad goals that seemed to
deflate the team.  (C)

David Aebischer:
  N/A  Did not play. (B) 


Mathieu Dandenault:
  B  This was the first time this season
he really sought to utilize his speed from the blueline. 

Andrei Markov:  B  Strong play shadowing Ovechkin, simply
adequate after that.  (B+)

Francis Bouillon:  B-  Mostly invisible this week,
struggled when paired with Rivet.  (B)

Mike Komisarek:  B-  Steady, but nothing great out of him
this week.. 

Sheldon Souray:  C+  Hit the end glass more often than the
net this week.  (B-)

Craig Rivet:  D  Absolutely awful, that’s the nicest way to
put it.  Play improved a bit when re-united with Souray.  (B-)

Janne Ninnimaa:  N/A  Did not play.  (B)


Guillaume Latendresse:
  A-  Some iffy penalties, but played
very well otherwise.  (A-)

Mark Streit:  A-  Whoever decided to convert him to a
forward deserves commendation.  (B+)

Aaron Downey:  B+  Scores a goal, gets 2 shots, and a fight
in less than 2 minutes vs Washington and is promptly sat down the next two
games.  He deserves to get in the lineup ASAP.  (N/A)

Alexander Perezhogin:  B  Good rebound week after being
benched in the Boston game.  (C+)

Garth Murray:  B  Slowly is starting to look like the
Murray of last season.  (C+)

Radek Bonk:  B  Very steady defensively, even if the
offence was non-existent.  (B-)

Saku Koivu:  B-  Decent week, but he can do better…and he
knows it.  (B)

Tomas Plekanec:  C+  Given the pending line shuffles, where
does he fall?  My money’s on the 4th line. 

Chris Higgins:  C+  Missed way too many chances this week.  (B+)

Alexei Kovalev:  C   Sometimes, the mind doesn’t work
as fast as the stick, we’ve seen that all too often this season.  (B+)

Michael Ryder:  C  All but invisible this week.  (B)

Mike Johnson:
  C  The goalless drought continues, while the
defensive play is slowly getting worse.  (C+)

Sergei Samsonov:
  C-  Once again, nothing on the scoresheet,
and the amount of chances he created also dropped considerably.  (C+)

The Dog

The Bulldogs, victims of an absolutely
atrocious schedule that saw them playing 5 games in 6 days, dropped 3 of the 5,
but remain in decent shape in the division, 1 point up on Manitoba, with 3 games
in hand on the Moose.


December 26, 2006
Hamilton 3,
Rochester 2
Hamilton Goals:
Baines (6), Milroy (13), Locke (9)
31-23 Rochester
  1-4  PK: 

December 27, 2006
Hamilton 3,
Manitoba 2 (SO)
Hamilton Goals:
Milroy (14), Ferland (9)
Kostitsyn (N), Locke (N), Milroy (N),
Grabovski (G)
30-29 Manitoba
  1-6  PK: 

December 29, 2006
Toronto 3, Hamilton
Hamilton Goals:
Kostitsyn (11), Benoit (3)
31-22 Toronto
  1-5  PK: 

December 30, 2006
Grand Rapids 2,
Hamilton 0
31-24 Grand Rapids
  0-7  PK: 

December 31, 2006
Peoria 3, Hamilton
Hamilton Goals:
Milroy (15), Locke (10)
35-32 Peoria
  2-7  PK: 

3 Key Notes:

 The Bulldogs’ special teams is around the middle of the pack thus far. 
The team is just 33/224 (14.7%) on the PP, but has a respectable 85.5%
efficiency (177/207) on the penalty kill.

2)  Recently acquired d-man Mathieu Biron has not had the same
success with the Bulldogs since he left the Barons.  In 10 games in
Hamilton, he has just 2 goals and 2 assists, whereas in Cleveland, 3 goals and
15 assists in 24 games.

3)  Eric Manlow, brought in to bolster what was a flegling offence,
hasn’t done anything to help in that regard, notching just 7 assists in 29

the Rinks

It’s over…finally:  The
Philadelphia Flyers finally snapped a franchise record 10-game losing streak, by
defeating the Lightning 4-3 on Thursday night.  Unfortunately for the
Flyers, they remain on a 6-game road trip, however, they do have a pair of
healthy goalies, as Robert Esche finally returned from injury.

Coyotes to clean house?:  After the roster freeze passed,
reports out of Phoenix suggested that many players, including Shane Doan,
Ladislav Nagy, and Mike Comrie, are being actively shopped on the trade market. 
How did the team respond?  The Coyotes destroyed the Sharks by an 8-0 count
on Saturday night.

Pair heading to the medal round:  In the World Juniors, 2 of
the 4 Canadiens prospects are en route to the medal round.  Both Carey
Price (CAN) and Pavel Valentenko (RUS) have byes into the semi-finals, while
Juraj Mikus (SLO), and Sergei Kostitsyn (BLR) are headed to the relegation

In the

By Jason Brisebois

Christopher Heino-Lindberg:

This Swedish goalie was born in Stockholm, Sweden and was drafted by the
Canadiens in the 6th round, 177th overall in the 2003 draft. He currently plays
for Farjestads BK Karlstad of the Swedish Elite League and is in his second
season with them.  Chris has a long list of achievements in his short
career. He was named the TV-pucken Best Goaltender 00/01.  He also sported
the top GAA average and save percentage that year. He has won the same award for
being top 16 year old player in Sweden as Markus Naslund, Mats Sundin and Peter
Forsberg.  He was also the Elitserien champion in 05/06.  Chris has
solid positioning and great reflexes. He’s hard to beat, as he covers much of
the net despite his somewhat small stature. He is also very strong with his
glove hand, and is an excellent puck handler.  Chris must take the next
step, and come to North America if he wishes to remain in the system.

Season  Team League   GP GAA SV%
2004-2005  Hammarby  Allsvenskan 30 1.81 .927
   Team Sweden U20  WJC-20 4 4.43 .852
   Hammarby J20  SuperElit 3 2.22 .944
   Team Sweden U20 (all)  International 9 2.72 .904
2005-2006  Färjestad  Elitserien 7 2.66 .898
   Nybro IF  Allsvenskan 5 3.82 .913
2006-2007  Färjestad  Elitserien 11 2.30 .916

Next week: To be determined.


Many fans have been criticizing the officials,
particularly as of late, but are things really as bad as they seem?  Sure,
it seems as if the Habs are almost always shorthanded more than their opponents,
and that they’re getting called even more than last season.  However, this
is not the case at all.  Yes, powerplay opportunities are few and far
between for the most part at 4.53 per game (29th in the league and down from
5.65 last season), but believe it or not, the Habs are receiving fewer penalties
this season than last.  Last year, the team had an average of 5.87 PK’s per
game; it’s down to 5.63 this season.  Also, 19 teams have been shorthanded
more than the Habs, so the argument that the Habs are being picked on is not a
valid one.  Do the refs seem to be missing some calls?  Sure, but it
goes both ways, and for every other team in the league, so it’s time to stop the